On April 5th we started a 7-week message series in our Sunday gatherings called “Honest Questions From a Skeptical Friend” – maybe you’re that skeptic who has honest questions. If so, way to go! Keep asking.
People throughout history have staked their eternity on the resurrection of Jesus Christ being an historical fact. As a reliable book of history (and it’s verifiably so), the Bible tells us that Jesus’ tomb was empty and there were post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Some skeptics admit the tomb was empty but attempt to explain it away in two common ways:
1. The Disciples stole the body. It’s not plausible that Jesus’ disciples would go on to die brutal deaths for what they knew to be a lie, for someone they knew to be a false Messiah who said he’d rise from the dead but whom they could not find anywhere.
2. The Authorities took the body. Think about this: if the authorities took the body and could actually verify that Jesus was still dead by producing the body, why didn’t they actually do so? The quickest way to put an end to the spread of Christianity and the talk of a ‘risen Saviour’ would be to show everyone the dead body of Jesus. They did not produce his dead body because they could not, for He was alive.
In the New Testament (I Corinthians 15) it says that after His resurrection Jesus was “...seen by Peter and then by the Twelve…” and by “...more than 500 of his followers at one time…” Then it says, “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless….But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead…” Paul, the author of I Corinthians, got first hand accounts from many of those who had seen Jesus alive after his burial and resurrection.
Josh McDowell, as a bright University student in the late 60’s, embarked on intensive study to disprove Christianity and the resurrection. After 2 years, McDowell submitted to the evidence and became a committed believer. A few years later he wrote ‘Evidence that Demands a Verdict’.
Interested in further reading/investigation?
+ Listen on this website to the message from Easter Sunday (April 5/15) for more information about the resurrection of Jesus.
+ Go to www.reasonablefaith.org and search ‘resurrection’ for helpful information from philosopher, theologian and Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig.
+ Order on Amazon ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ by Frank Morison – he began to write this book with the intention of disproving the resurrection but found instead that the evidence supported the biblical story. This recognized classic is an examination of his research and the evidence he found.